Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cat purrfect day

Purrsey thought he would define the words "Getting Comfortable". To top it all off, that is the dogs bed.

Wife went to 6 Flags today with the kids so I spent the day doing a couple of projects and then cleaning the house. Wife usually takes care of the cats litter box and I thought I would give her a break and do it. Spilled a full litter box on the living room carpet. Boy did that stink. When I went to fill the box I dropped the bag of clean litter because the bag slipped as I was filling the box and I have a bad bicep muscle from an injury and now I have a very bad bicep muscle. I then went and took a nap.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cat blog Monday

I can’t really find anything nice to blog about the cat but we still have him so here goes. The only reason we still have the cat is because when I tried to give him away my grandson threw a fit. He contributes almost nothing to the household except a lot of poop. He eats a lot and now poops a lot. In case you don’t remember Purrsey, the one and only time I have spent any effort to write about him was apparently we got him on May 5th, 06. another one was

. Wrote about him more than I thought. Now it gets interesting from the “I-think-im-in-trouble-now posting”. For those of you that do not remember that posting, did not ever see it in the 1st place or don’t care to go back and read it I will give you the following synopsis:

Purrsey finds plant on top of desk and knocks it to the floor

This is the spider plant Purrsey didn’t like resting on top of the roll-top desk

This is the spider plant after 1st Aid has been applied

Sometimes my wife’s plants fail to properly perform and they must be taught a lesson. If they upset her then they are placed in isolation for a while. Isolation is usually some far away place where they can be properly ignored. This is the spider plant, today, after being ignored for 5 months. Poor spider plant.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Haunted...Westfield's Cemetery?

"Westfield - Pine Hill Cemetery - Something haunts the back hill of this cemetery. During the day visitors have reported a mans voice in the woods, and the feeling of being watched. At night, the watchful feeling changes to one of absolute unreasonable terror. Even going on the public street that runs right beside the hill will cause this...even some people who live on that street have complained of feeling uneasy, as if something is watching out for that portion of the cemetery and will not tolerate ANYONE trespassing. A few reports of rocks being thrown at cars passing that area have also surfaced, but are rare."
I live in Westfield MA, last night around one, my friend and I were driving by the cemetery. We had both read this a few months prior, so we thought we'd check it out for ourselves. We walked in the opening to the far left side and made our way toward the back of the cemetery. About the third or fourth path you can take into the cemetery we took to look at this huge tombstone that caught our attention toward the center. Not five steps past that grave, my feet froze to the ground and a wave of utter uneasiness came over me. My heart jumped and I looked at my friend. He was looking back at me and said he felt cold and his arms were numb. We didn't stay long to investigate, we kind of felt like we were being shoved out extremely unwanted. both of us were numb but it was a beautiful night. this feeling stayed with us until we got off of the main road and into our car. When I opened the door I swear I saw someone walking along the fence but when I looked again it was gone.

This is a story I found on the shadow lands website Found it interesting but totally untrue as no one has ever told us about experiencing “unreasonable terror” while they visited and never a report about someone throwing rocks at cars. We have a couple of Wickens for friends and they has been very involved with the cemetery, including one who has worked for us on several occasions. They has passed on a few stories of their own. One of those stories surround an area in a corner called the steps that a ghost named Tom inhabits and he is very mischievous. Another tale surrounds a large monument that makes you feel better if you hug one of the pillars. We have found the remnants of séances being held in the cemetery such as ouija boards and candles. Probably just kids that have managed to scare themselves.

I have had a phone call from a lady who told me that her husband is buried in Pine Hill and there is a lady that is buried in a plot next to him and is trying to get into his grave. She wanted me to do something about it. I told her I would work on chasing her off?? Another phone call was from a lady whose husband was dead and buried in our cemetery and he is always coming back to her house. When he was alive they had a priest that lived with them but he died shortly after her husband. The priest also comes back to the house. Neither one of them talk to her but she knows they are there because she can hear them arguing. I told her I didn’t know what I could do but when she told me she was a Catholic I suggested she contact her priest and see about getting an exorcism of the house. I guess it solved her problems. I borrow the picture on the right from the following blog. Hope they don't mind.

The nature of the jobs is that I spend a lot of time in the cemetery after dark.[yuh- ha -ha –ha]. Locking gates after nightfall is the main reason[oh-we-yuh]. Halloween night we spend a couple of hours patrolling for vandals and sometimes there are incidents that need to be investigated such as: campfires; strange happenings reported by neighbors; lovers being located inside. It really isn’t very spooky except for the lights. We have a major street that goes by on one side and the lights go dancing off the stones. For years I noticed one stone, up high in the cemetery that was orange in color and only glowed about once a month or so. I was about ready to throw in the towel and admit that some things can’t be explained. That would be major for me as I absolutely do not believe in the occult. Finally I realized it only occurred during full moons. The moon had to be in the right position for me to see it and a big black stone that was slightly tilted backward was reflecting it. Whew!

The really scary thing that happens is when we have a couple of fox hunting at night and keeping track of each other by howling. Their howling sounds like two babies screaming and it unnerves the neighbors a bit.

The only thing that makes me nervous is watching out for Andrew Cunanan types that want to pop me for my pickup. Happy dreams!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ford vs Chrysler

Maurice and I both staggered a bit as we walked out the entrance to the old gold mine. It was summer and a beautiful night as the full moon was just now rising above the tops of the mountains. The mountains were the Black Hills of South Dakota and the year was 1961. We were not claim jumpers or robbers but just 2 drunk high school kids on a mission. We had just walked out the front door of The Inferno that was a 3.2 bar catering to high school and college kids and it was built inside of an old Gold mine. At that time South Dakota was a 3.2 state, which meant you only had to be 18 years of age to consume as much beer as you belly would hold so long as it was under 3.2% alcohol. Driving drunk was not a very big deal, in those days, because all that would happen, if the local cops caught you, was a trip to the station and they called your parents to come and get you. The punishment for your crime was up to your parents, as it was believed that home was where it belonged.[ It would take a few years before we learned that parents weren’t very good at providing discipline or preventing recidivism and that authority would soon change to the responsibility of the state.] I didn’t even know of any of my friends or associates that had really been arrested for DWI so as we prepared for our adventure we had absolutely no fear of the authorities. Our real fear should have been our fear of piling up the car because of our state of inebriation but I was 18 and Maurice was 19 and so we had no sense of mortality. Our hormones were raging as we walked across the gravel parking lot. We pushed and punched each other shouting out macho clichés as we tripped in the parking lot, falling on each other. I felt the knee of my levis rip as I slid on the rocks but I worked hard holding onto my Schlitz beer trying hard not to spill it. Maurice spilled his beer and cussing loudly he got up to go back into the bar to get another. I grabbed him and headed him back toward the car saying “No time for that now as they will leave, I’ll share mine with you”. I had no sense of the danger ahead as I slide into the plush, crushed, velvet and leather, seat of the brand new Chrysler Newport never once thinking of hooking up my seat belt even though I sat in the “Suicide Seat”. Death was just not a concern. We had to drive a few miles, first through Lead and then Deadwood and our adventure would start on the other side, by the “slag piles, on old US highway 14A. The race would be 11 miles to Sturgis and would culminate at the Milwaukee Railroad bridge underpass which had a 90 degree turn at the exit. The opponents were two wise assed flyboys from nearby Ellsworth Air Force base who had challenged us to the race after a heated discussion centering around the ability’s of their 1958 ford with a police interceptor engine and our Chrysler Newport. 14A was a two lane paved road with no shoulders, to speak of, following the edge of Bear Butte Creek. It was a great race track for the first 9 miles, with more twists and turns than a Grand Prix track and the final 2 miles exited next to a trailer court and was relatively straight, past the refinery to the underpass. If the race was close then the last ¼ mile would be great, right up to the 90 degree turn.

I shouted “GO” and we were off, tires smoking, pavement squealing and any coyotes within a hundred miles were looking for cover. We were headed for Sturgis trying to set a new record. Adrenalin pumps were operating at max. Maurice completely smoked them at the start and I couldn’t even see them behind us after 2 miles. This was going to be easy money. Apparently the drunken flyboy didn’t want to lose the $50 that was at stake, because that Ford came screaming around us at the next turn as he blazed around the curve sideways with that Fords carburetor wide open keeping him on the road. As we headed for the next curve, we were on the Fords taillights sliding together on the pavement around the next curve and I handed Maurice my beer. He took a big hit and handed it back to me. “I’ll stay on his ass until the turnout and then I’ll smoke him on the inside” Maurice hollered. The turnout was just a wide spot on the road up ahead that allowed you to park and fish or change a flat tire but it was also on the inside of the curve and it was gravel. Before the Chrysler got to the turnout I felt the 4-barrel kick and the sweet sensation as the torque shoved me back into my seat. “This what it’s all about”, I hollered and Maurice just smiled and quietly replied, “Ya”. I don’t have any idea how we missed the right taillight and I felt the fear as the right wheel left the pavement and hit the gravel. The rest of the wheels followed and before we hit the guardrail, as the turnout narrowed, we were around the boys in the Ford. The Newport fishtailed as it hit the pavement but Maurice kept his foot dedicated to the maneuver and we straightened out. I looked back and the big Ford was falling way back. Suddenly I saw the Fords headlights sit back down and they were gaining on us. I shouted at Maurice, “Here they come again” as we came into a big curve and Maurice was breaking but as we came out again we were side by side as our 4 barrel was sucking about as much ethyl as was possible. We held our own but only for a couple of seconds as the boys from Ellsworth shot ahead of us for good. Maurice put up a valiant fight but the Chrysler was just no match to the police interceptor engine. We tried to keep up with them but we couldn’t catch up. As we came out of the mouth of the canyon, by the trailer court, we were clipping a mere 120 and still no Ford but then we saw the dust. Apparently the flyboys had lost it on the straightaway. The dust was so thick that we had to slow to 20mph to get through it. The dust started at a small curve where they probably lost control. We pulled over to look for the car. We could follow the tracks as the car left the road, clipping an informational sign of some type and it was flattened. Ahead in the borrow pit we could see a rock, as large as a car, but somehow they didn’t hit it and instead kept going down and went between the rock and the fence at probably 120 plus MPH. The tracks reentered the highway ahead and we jumped into our car to follow. Just ahead was the underpass and we could see the taillights of the Ford on the other side. “He musta hit the wall,” Maurice said but when we got up to them the Ford was just stopped and the driver was getting out of the car. The car had bucket seats and the passenger was lying on top of the backseat and the front seat was broken in half. The right side of the car was as straight as could be from the impact with the sign and the passenger was hurt. We had them follow us out to the other end of town where we showed him the hospital. We gave him our $50 and congratulated him with his sick buddy in the back moaning a bit and trying to shout “Hooray”. “That’s the best race I’ve had in a long time” the flyboy shouted as he headed for the hospital. Maurice and I went over to Philtown and got a cup of coffee and something to eat. We ordered and ate our meals in silence until Maurice finally said “Stock engine my ass”. ”Those bastards took us and that was a setup”. I quietly replied “ you still have your car, neither of us were hurt and it only cost us $50 to learn that a Chrysler Newport will not take a 58 Ford with a police interceptor engine.” Maurice didn’t talk to me for a week after that.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


What’s a guy that is slowly going blind, or at least I feel I am, to do? My last attempt at being able to see was the purchase, on two different occasions, of real glasses following an exam by a Dr. I went to Wal-Mart for one pair and to JC Penny’s for the other. Both were bad as they didn’t really help that much. Before going to these stores I wore my glasses all of the time as I have trouble seeing things up close and things far away. They were so bad I couldn’t wear them except on special occasions, like when I wanted to see, because the prescriptions were bad. I’m a Carpenter so I need to see. I have noticed that I have been using my sense of touch much more. Three days ago I was officiating at a funeral in a local Funeral Home and found myself unable to read the scriptures I had chosen. When I rehearsed the readings I didn’t have much trouble but in the dimly lit funeral home, the pages turned to a blur. The 1st part of the service was from my own typewritten pages in 16pt type but the rest was from my Bible…..I looked up at my audience and they were wondering what the lull was for. At that moment the sun came out from behind the clouds, lighting up the entire room, and suddenly I could make out the tiny printing. [This was not a case of Divine Intervention] I used the pause as if I was creating a pregnant moment and boomed out the 1st line of the reading grabbing everyone’s attention and it worked out well. After the service, several people said to me “Wow you know how to get everyone’s attention”. Right then and there I decided to get glasses again, real glasses and not cheaters. I have cheaters but if I would have worn them I could have read all of the words easily but I would not have been able to recognize anyone in the audience. I could probably get by with those thin cheaters that you wear low on your nose and look over the top when I need to see things far away but I can’t stand looking over those glasses. I think I need real bifocals again.

My history with glasses hasn’t been very good. I bought my first pair of bifocals, quite a few years ago. When I got the glasses, they were no-line bifocals and I had to take them back because they were causing problems for me as I was walking steel beams 40’ off of the floor. They were swapped for bifocals with lines, which was much better. When ordering they suggested I get plastic lens as a safety feature. About 30 days later I brought them back all scratched up so they said “get glass lens in them, that won’t scratch”. “OK” I said.

I wore those glasses for a couple of years and was wearing my bifocals and driving my truck when I slammed into the rear end of a bus that was discharging a passenger. The back bumper of the bus had a scratch on it and I totaled my truck. My face hit the steering wheel, smashed my glasses and knocked me a little silly. I was really embarrassed about hitting the bus and just wanted everyone to go away so things could return to normal. As I waited for most of the city to respond to my accident, all but the DPW, one of my employees came upon my little situation and reached in and grabbed my radio. Marvin called the office and notified them of my accident. I was the project manager of an estate we were building for my boss up in the Berkshires. The 1st part of my trip up was on a nice straight road and that was where the accident occurred. The next part was up a very treacherous mountain road with drop offs of several hundred feet and few guard rails. This is where the office perceived I had wrecked. My boss understood the accident was on the mountain, the pickup was totaled, I was covered with blood and the firemen were probably using the jaws of life to extract me. He went directly to my house to get my wife, explain the situation to her and brought her to the emergency room. You can imagine her state of mind when she reached the hospital.

Well…….1st came the police cars, then an ambulance and then another ambulance and then two fire trucks. It seems that a bus accident elicits a special, automatic, response without waiting for a report from the first officer to arrive. They ripped the door off of my beautiful truck so they could get me out on a backboard all strapped in and with a neck collar. I was taken out sideways and noticed, as I went by; my coffee was still in the holder. I asked if someone could bring my coffee but they ignored me. As they carried me to the stretcher, I looked up and there were 2 Firemen, 2 EMT’s and 2 Police Officers hauling me away. Some of them I knew. It was at that moment I realized that they weren’t going away and things weren’t returning to normal. As they slide me into the ambulance I said “Bye Bye Truck”. By the time we got to the hospital I was a bloody mess as I had a bunch of facial cuts from the glasses and abrasions from banging on the steering wheel. My head hurt.

They cleaned me up, x-rayed me and said the only thing they could find wrong with me was a rather large gash over my eye that needed stitches and I was a bit silly. IT’S A MIRACLE! My wife announced that I was always a bit silly and went home. No she didn’t. A Policeman was waiting for me so he could have me sign the ticket for following to close, so obviously it was all my fault. My boss announced that “No emergency room hack was going to stitch up my face and immediately called up his friend that is the leading plastic surgeon in a couple of states. He came, they put me under, and sewed up my eye and associated cuts including a few on top of my head that needed a stitch or two. I am constantly running into things with my head so at anyone time I have small cuts in various stages of healing. When they released me, I asked for my glasses back and I was handed a manila envelope which contained about 100 pieces. The “Hack” told me that next time I should get plastic lens.

After the accident, I went to Wal-Mart, had my eyes examined and bought a pair of glasses. They looked OK but they really didn’t work very well and after a few years they were all scratched up so I threw them away. Next I went to JC Penny and had my eyes examined and bought another pair. They also looked nice and also didn’t work right so after a year or so I went back to Wal-Mart and had my eyes examined again and bought another pair. Now I had two working pair that kinda worked and I would switch back and fourth, then my daughter bought the Golden Doodle dog. At this point in my posting I went back to 2004 to reference you to the postings about Randy the Golden Doodle and how he ate these two working pair of glasses I had. The trouble was there were so many stories about “The Doodle” back then, I couldn’t decide what to pick so suffice it to be a photo of the ruined glasses. He chewed off the nose pieces and ear things so it hurts to wear them. Somehow he managed to scratch the lens bad but I still wear them but only at home. People would think I was whackey if they saw me wearing them. I have been going to go to the eye Drs. Since 2004???? Maybe I should go find a Lazer Eye surgeon and be done with it. That would be good for a couple of pages for the blog, I’m sure.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Blueberry Pie Recipe

Award-winning pie from Kosinski Farm Stand in Westfield, Massachusetts from Robyn Kosinski. She runs the farm stand and bakery, while her husband, Michael, tends to the farm, which his grandparents started more than 70 years ago.

Prep: 40 minutes plus cooling
Cook time: Bake 1 hour 25 minutes
Makes: 10 servings



· 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

· 1 tablespoon sugar

· Salt

· 3/4 cup vegetable shortening

· 1 large egg, lightly beaten

· 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

· 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water


· 1 cup sugar

· 1/4 cup cornstarch

· 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· 6 cups blueberries, picked over

· 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1. Prepare pastry: In bowl, mix flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form. Reserve 1 tablespoon beaten egg. Add vinegar to remaining egg; stir into flour mixture. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with fork, until dough just holds together. Shape dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

2. Prepare filling: In bowl, stir sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Add blueberries; toss to coat.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with foil; place in oven on lowest rack while oven preheats.

4. On floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 disk of dough into 12-inch round. Ease into 9-inch pie plate. Spoon filling into crust; sprinkle with lemon juice.

5. Roll remaining dough into 12-inch round. Cut several 1 1/2-inch slits for steam to escape; center over filling. Fold overhang under; pinch to seal. Brush with reserved egg.

6. Place pie plate on hot cookie sheet. Bake pie 1 hour and 25 minutes or until filling bubbles and crust is golden. Cool pie on wire rack.

Nutritional information for each serving: About 400 calories, 5 g protein, 60 g carbohydrate, 17 g total fat (4 g saturated), 3 g fiber, 21 mg cholesterol, 245 mg sodium.

This is the recipe I use and it appeared in the August issue of Good Housekeeping. We have bought a lot of her pies for Thanksgiving and other occasions and never once were we disappointed. We have a festival in town called The Taste of Westfield and Kosinski Farm Stand has a booth and they sell miniature Blueberry or Apple pies. I usually spend all of my allowed money at their booth. The apples and blueberries are all homegrown. It doesn’t get any better than this but this year they didn’t have a booth. We were really disappointed.

This brings up another subject, homegrown apples from all of out lovely local orchards. The season is just underway and there should be a blog posting in there somewhere. Maybe apple pies. Ya think?